Ping Pong Summer (NR)
Comedy 92 June 6, 2014
At times, the nostalgia is overwhelming, with winking references to former pop culture touchstones taking precedence over substance. Beneath the veneer of candy-colored nylon, however, there are moments that spark with the genuine eagerness of a teenager at the cusp of adulthood. Tully adeptly captures the restless energy of that fragile stage of independence when habit hasn't yet defined identity. Rad wholeheartedly throws himself into his passions, and it's his bare enthusiasm that makes all the hyperbolic tragedy and triumph of this cut-and-paste story work. True to teenage life, the stakes are always elevated: Cocksure punks are evil archenemies, mercurial romances are true loves, and boys with dreams are conquering heroes. It's a throwback film in both style and sentiment, and what it lacks in depth, it make up for with warmth.